Antis & Fence Sitters


Working Man
June 29, 2006, 06:42 AM
Since we so often discuss our experiences with "antis" and "fence sitters", how
they confront, berate, or simply boggle us. We talk about what we have done
to convert, avoid, or annoy them.....

I was wondering how many members here on THR started off as "antis" or
"fence sitters". What was your reasoning for your position? What turned you
to being progun?

I believe there could be some great information acquired from knowing the whys
and hows of it all.

If you enjoyed reading about "Antis & Fence Sitters" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
June 29, 2006, 07:05 AM
I didn't own any firearms until around my 35th birthday. I was not actively an anti, but I guess I sort of swallowed the "sensible gun laws", "public health menace", "why does anyone need _______" propaganda that the true antis spew forth. I guess put me in the former fence sitter category

I guess the big change for me occured in a couple of ways:

I started sensing that things weren't as they seemed with the things that we were being told by the press, the government and society in general. I liken it to The awakening to a world that is in direct opposition to the controlled, perfect environment that we are being told is reality. I don't now if this makes sense but it does to me :neener:

Secondly, things started getting a little too close for comfort. We're in the DC area so we had 9-11 in our back yard and the "sniper" shootings in the space of about 13 months.

Finally we had a home invasion within 100 yards of our home where the mother and daughter, trapped by an armed intruder in an upstairs room with no way to get out, had to open the door and forcibly subdue him at the expense of both women being shot. :eek: Both fortunately survived.

I decided that there was no way that I was going to put myself in that situation and that it was apparent that I would have to take responsibility for my own safety.

June 29, 2006, 10:14 AM
My Idealistic tendencies in my youth, tended to cause me to be more of a fencesitter. I am still very young fyi, I am referring to high school when i say youth. I had been hunting before, but the only firearm I had any experience with was a shotgun. When i turned 21 i bought a 1911, and the more i got into firearms the more i paid attention to the political issues, and the more i got involved. Basically went from sitting on the fence to being a supporter.

June 29, 2006, 10:37 AM
When I was younger, I really enjoyed firearms, but had limited opportunity to shoot or hunt, and after the army, I just sort of lost interest and became ambivalent. then, about ten years ago when I was working from home, I had an attempted home invasion, and though I'm a big guy and have always been able to take care of myself, I did come to the conclusion that I'm getting too lold todance with fools. Why do it the hard way where there are perfectly good handtools that makes the 'repel boarders' drill easy without getting physical.

Fortunately, I've had little drama in my life since that incident, but I have taken home and personal security to heart, got a CHP, and reacquired a great hobby in the process.

I don't open carry, so most of my contacts with anti's or fence-sitters tend to occur insocial settings. I enjoy discussing/debating/ arguing (in a civil manner) RKBA, 2nd Amendment issues, responsible firearms ownership and the pleasures of shooting. I make every effort to be polite, professional, unemotional, logical and factual. I think I make some progress with people who can converse intelligently and think critically. Guns aren't for everyone, and I'm fine with that, we can agree to disagree. I also understand that some folks are just going to get emtional, won't even consider the facts, and that while ignorance can be cured through education, stupid is forever. But I make it real clear that everyone is free to make their own choices, but I'll be damned if someone like 'them' is going to make mine for me.:evil:

June 29, 2006, 11:01 AM
I have alot of "I want to get a gun" friends. These are the types that want to get something to keep in a drawer and that's it. They're not intersted in building a collection or concealed carry. They're not real interested in supporting gun rights but atleast they're not intersted in taking away what we do have. Indifference is mostly what I find.

June 29, 2006, 03:47 PM
Well, I use to be a "fence-sitter". But I have sent in my membership fee to the NRA. So I guess to some people I'll have "taken sides".
I don't see it that way at all.
Most gun owners I have met are extremely sensible people. Not the raving paranoid gun-nut that is the stereotype that is popularized.
It only takes a few to give the many a bad name. I just hope people will have enough sense to just stop and think.
Sure I may quip and talk some trash every now and then but I am a young person with a bit of an edge and I am prone to that type of behavior. There is that better part of me, and that better part of me is strictly in charge of my firearms knowledge, handling, and efforts to try and reason with people.

I guess the typical anti question would be, "Do you want to shoot people?"
No, of course not. But I do believe that I have a right to defend myself and other people, and if that means I have to use lethal force with a firearm then so be it.
I enjoy the discipline involved. I love the engineering and craftsmanship of a fine firearm. And yes, the BOOM factor is fun.

the naked prophet
June 29, 2006, 05:35 PM
I remember, when I was a kid (like, elementary to early high school) parroting things like "the second amendment? You don't need a machine gun to hunt deer" and things like that. Along about the end of high school, and the beginning of college, I started to question my beliefs. Everything was game. I looked to many places for the reasons I believed what I did at first, and mostly found that they came from public school, and that disturbed me. Other beliefs came from my parents, and that was a good thing - but I still questioned them.

In trying to form my own belief system, I looked to many places. I looked to my parents, to the Bible, to the philosophers of Greece, to the founders of modern science, to modern science itself, and to the Founding Fathers. Among the things I rejected were socialism, evolutionary origin, teetotaling, "reasonable" gun control, and others. I had just accepted them all without a thought - which was the purpose of public school.

If you want to believe in whatever, that's your business. What bugs me is people who just blindly believe what they were told in school, and refuse to examine their own beliefs.

June 29, 2006, 06:01 PM
When I stumbled in THR (through a Yahoo search) I was a mild anti, simply through a lack of understanding of the importance and necessity of the RKBA. Within a couple of days of finding this site I fully embraced the RKBA. Needless to say, I now fully support the RKBA, even on some points which seem extreme to several members of this board. I just logically couldn't continue to hold to my anti views (I'm a very analytical individual) and remain satisfied with myself. As I read more and more here, I saw that being an anti was very illogical and, frankly, silly and stupid.

Now, granted, I still don't own a gun. I'm up against the opposition of my parents, especially my mom, whose opposition to firearms is mostly emotional "I'm scared of them, they'll harm me" arguments. Needless to say, I haven't made much headway with converting my mom. I believe that trying to convert someone whose emotions dictate their beliefs is very difficult, especially when their emotions make them resist even looking at opposing viewpoints (such as found on I'd love to get my mom to read pax's site.) My dad I guess you could say is a fence sitter. He understands the use of firearms against government tyranny, and understand why that was the reason the 2nd Amendment was included in the Constitution, (we've talked in depth about this topic) but does not believe that such tyranny could ever infiltrate the government of the U.S. Therefore, he's not opposed to "reasonable restrictions" (of course, I oppose all "reasonable restrictions") on the RKBA, and also sees no reason why our family would need any firearms. Plus, he understands the self-defense aspects of it, and supports firearms for such a use, but we've always lived in white, suburban neighborhoods and again he sees no use for firearms in our lives.

So, there's the long and short of it. I still hope to work enough on my mom to be able to get a .22 rifle and a 12 gauge shotgun by the end of the year. I'm pretty sure my dad would have no problem with that if I really wanted it, but like I said, I'm working against the emotions of my mom.

Vern Humphrey
June 29, 2006, 06:49 PM
When I was about six years old, I saw a display of snub-nosed revolvers in a window shop in Lake Charles, LA. I said to my Grandfather, Captain Jack Clooney, "Those are only for killing people! They shouldn't be allowed to make them."

And Captain Jack said, "What if the person they killed was trying to kill you?"

Dan M.
June 29, 2006, 07:16 PM
I had guns when I was younger, but only for plinking in the desert and stuff. Then the kids came along and the guns left the house. My wife didn't/doesn't like guns anyway. Besides that, I pretty much believed the statistics (the ones I never verified :banghead: ) about how many kids were killed by guns every year, and about how much more likely you were to killed by a BG who took your own gun from you, etc. I knew about the 2nd amendment, but I figured there were enough folks out there with guns to turn back a foreign invader, or whatever the 2A was meant for, right? Over the years, my wife, the gun-hater, frequently talked about getting a swimming pool. I'd heard all the scary statistics about pools and kids drowning, etc., and I was reluctant. I mentioned the statistics to my wife. "Well, we'd obviously get a fence," was her response. I knew that kids got around or through fences and drowned anyway, so we just talked about getting a pool, but never did. Five years ago, we moved into a house with a--guess what?--pool. We had a fence put around it the day after we moved in. One of our kids, a boy, had moved out by then and the other, a girl, was 18--not exactly the little kid that drowns or the curious little kid looking through dad's night stand or closet, or the teenager showing off to friends. I started seriously thinking about guns again. Last year, we were on vacation when Katrina hit New Orleans. I watched along with the rest of you as things as things got more and more crazy there, and watched the police confiscate guns from people who just wanted to protect themselves. In a way, I could see the perspective of the police--people were shooting at police, fire trucks, and rescue teams. But it was the people who WEREN'T causing the trouble that lost their guns. :barf: :cuss: I live in the greater Los Angeles area. We are overdue for the Big One :what: , the one that will do what Katrina did to New Orleans. I decided I wanted guns in my house again. Katrina was in August. I started looking into pros and cons about owning guns for home defense. I learned the gun statistics I'd always believed were :eek: wrong, and I started looking :scrutiny: at the 2A with new eyes. I progressed to the point of realizing that bad things were more likely to happen to me away from home than AT home. I started thinking about CCW. I started reading up on what guns were good for different scenarios. By December, I was ready. I got bought my first gun in 15 years--an XD9. I bought a safe to put it in. I became a member at a local indoor range and took the NRA First Steps course. By March, I'd taken the NRA Personal Protection course, and I had a Ruger SP101, a 10/22, a Remington 870 12 ga. (and a bigger safe LOL) and I had applied for a CA CCW. Since then I've gotten a Utah CCW, I've added an XD45 to my gun safe, I've taken the mandatory 16 hour training course for a CCW, and I'm days away from receiving my CA permit. A lot has happened since Katrina, including spending a buttload of money. :)

June 30, 2006, 02:22 PM
Does anyone else see a pattern here?
"The wife, girlfriend hated guns, so...".
One of my close friends girlfriend who was rabidly anti-gun demolished his .22 rifle. I mean she destroyed it into pieces during one of their too common fights.
She wasn't all that right in the head in the first place. I felt bad for him because I introduced the two. :(

Vern Humphrey
June 30, 2006, 03:05 PM
One of my close friends girlfriend who was rabidly anti-gun demolished his .22 rifle. I mean she destroyed it into pieces during one of their too common fights.

I hope he brought charges -- because this is pre-assault behavior.

A man is in a bad situation in a relationship like this -- she can batter the hell out of him, and if he lifts a hand in self-defense, he's going to jail. Unless he establishes her pattern of behavior ahead of time.

June 30, 2006, 05:14 PM
I was never an anti, or a fence sitter... I was an Ostrich.

I grew up on a ranch in the mountains of New Mexico and hunted and went target shooting all the time (literally right out our back door at times). I was given rifles as Christmas presents, and received one of my granddad's shotguns when he passed away. My dad had quite a few rifles/shotguns, but only two pistols back then... one an unfired Colt 125th Anniversary SAA, and the other an old Colt SAA .44-40 that he kept loaded under the bed for protection and was never shot much. (And for the strict child/gun safety crowd, we were taught at practically walking age, and definitely before we were even able to cock the hammer, what that gun could do, how loud it was, etc. We were also told that anytime we wanted to look at the gun or shoot it, to just let Dad know and he would happily oblige us. Unsupervised curiosity wasn't an issue anymore after that. I know that tactic may make some cringe, but it worked for me and my other four siblings just fine. With today's technologies I would undoubtedly support it with a quick-open safe, if I had any children.)

When I moved out of the house I lived in a West Texas town and eventually picked up a Colt Govt. Mark IV Series 70 in 9mm, and a Dan Wesson .44 Magnum with a 6.5" barrel. I used to take these out to a vacant caliche (dirt/gravel) pit and have loads of fun. I made the foolish mistake of hocking those two handguns, and a beautiful Winchester .30-30 rifle, at a pawnshop in the mid-80's and never got them out. BIG loss that I still regret to this day, but a valuable personal lesson was learned so I guess it wasn't a "total" loss.

I got married and although my wife loves to fish, camp, etc. she does not hunt. She loves venison and wild game, but is happy for someone else to provide it. She wasn't an "anti" but had only shot a .22 on occasion with her dad when much younger. We were also relocated around the Mid-West seven times in 10.5 years with a previous company, so even though we talked about going to a range and doing a little target or trap/skeet shooting, we never did. I had never belonged to the NRA, and after getting married never really even got the opportunity to hunt again due to the many relocations and/or hunting leases being out of my budget range.

Not ever having had one of those "black rifles," the AWB didn't affect me... or so I thought. I had also believed just about every one of those falsehoods that were propagated throughout the media. You know the ones... "They’re too easily converted to full auto," "Hunters don't need more than 10 rounds in a magazine," "AW's are the choice of criminals and gangs," etc. It all sounded logical to me, so I naively believed it all... lock, stock and barrel (no pun intended).

It wasn't until my father passed away earlier this year and I inherited some of his rifles, and a GLOCK 19 that he purchased a couple years ago for protection when he had called his local cable company to complain of poor service and spoke with a rude young lady that lacked any semblance of tact and customer service, then later that night received a very threatening phone call from her boyfriend. Shortly after that call, and by pure coincidence, the power went out as well. He, in his eighties, and probably the first time since he was in the Marines 40 years earlier, was truly unsettled and wanted something more than that heavy Colt SSA for protection. And, with today's weapons, wanted to have more than five rounds available, too.

Anyway, after finally getting a handgun back into my collection and a renewed interest in guns and shooting, I started looking into getting a CHL. It wasn't until then that I discovered the truth about what has been going on below my radar with respect to gun ownership, anti-gunners, Clinton and the Brady bunch, Rebecca Peters and the U.N., etc. for all these 18+ years. I downloaded Gun Facts 4.0 ( along with anything else I could find on CHL's in Texas. I also joined the NRA and TSRA and discovered several great web forum sites; of which THR is undoubtedly one I'm now happy to be a member of.

My wife went with me to an indoor range to shoot the GLOCK, although she just watched at that time, as she was concerned with the muzzle flip and flash coming from the 9mm. The next time I rented her a .22 pistol and she joined in and had LOADS of fun, and that hooked her. After that she wanted a CHL, too, but wanted to work up to the 9mm first. A couple more trips with renting that .22, she moved up to renting a .380. After she had put a few magazines through that, I told her that the little .380 actually had more muzzle flip than the G19, so she finally tried the GLOCK and had a great time with it.

We went to a few gun shows (a first for her, though she's already picked up a Walther P22 and a Ruger Single-Six .22 for herself, and is still looking for a decent SD handgun in 9mm that fits her tiny hands better than the G19, being only 4'11" tall), continued to study for the CHL class and going to the range just about every Sunday afternoon for practice. She also joined the NRA, and will be joining TSRA this week. We took our CHL class on June 15th and both of us passed with flying colors.

It's strange that my father's passing, and the resulting inheritance in firearms brought my head out of the sand. We had always kept a loaded shotgun ready for protection in the home, but were more or less complacent everywhere else. Fortunately the rejuvenation in my hobby with guns has not only brought light to the problem gun owners face in America, but kindled a new hobby for my wife as well (and one I'm certainly proud of).

So, there are more than just "antis" and "fence sitters" out there that need further education, as there are a lot of "ostriches" out there like we were, too!

June 30, 2006, 06:58 PM
Until a few years ago my default thinking was that firearms were probably dangerous and mostly used for criminal purposes. The only reason I wouldn't describe myself as a former anti-gunner is because I never seriously argued or defended those beliefs. I had no experience with guns -- good or bad -- growing up, so I just accepted what I heard from other influences such as the news media, some of my friends, etc.

My views were questioned by a thread on guns and gun control in another (non gun-related) forum that I was then an active member of. Most of the posts reflected a moderately anti-gun view much like mine, but one gentleman presented a convincing arguement that guns were useful tools. Furthermore, he showed information from Lott's study on defensive gun use, and recent online newspaper articles covering gun self-defense that indicated guns might actually have beneficial purposes.

To me, those ideas were unheard of. After reading his arguements, I became really interested in learning more about the other side of the gun control debate. That is, not the one that I had previously accepted as common sense. (Actually, I later became well-versed in the arguments of both sides so as to argue more straightforwardly and effectively. The pro-gun side was just more interesting to me. ;))

Maybe I had more of an aversion to guns than I am admitting to. I don't think I was hoplophobic (, but I was always uncomfortable around guns, even after my logical mind had decided they were nothing to be afraid of. My legs shook when I bought my first rifle, though I had been arguing against gun control for more than a year by that time. That lingering uneasiness was nothing a brick of .22 ammo couldn't fix, though. ;)

June 30, 2006, 07:10 PM
I didn't have much use for firearms. I was intimidated by them, to tell the truth.

But I don't trust government much, and the more I thought about it, the more it seemed to be that government didn't much want me to have 'em. So, get 'em while the gittin's good, as they say.

I had no idea how darned much fun firearms are. And no idea how much they would expand my horizons philosophically and politically. It's a heck of a ride.

June 30, 2006, 08:03 PM
I had some guns and shot with my Dad all my life, but I certainly never cared about the AWB or anytihng like that. I grew up in MA so it was a PITA to get/carry guns so I never bothered.

Then my son was born, and I knew that I wanted him to know how to shoot and be comfortable around guns like I was, and not to fear them, and not to see them as "taboo items". I decided to get a gun or two, and in researching, I found THR and learned about the true meaning of the RKBA. Thanks THR! :D

P5 Guy
June 30, 2006, 10:45 PM
I grew up in South Jersey in the real late 50s thru the early 70s. Some of the guys I went to school with and my Dad hunted, but being in NJ only with shotguns. I shot at some ducks myself, hit a few too, but was not too into hunting deers.
My wife and I moved to FL in '89 and after her step-dad passed she inherited his S&W model 17 in .22lr. The 1st of what was to become a larger collection of firearms.
The aftermath of Hurricane Andrew was a big part of my jumping off the fence and into the 'gun culture'. After all what is the sense in buying all those supplies to survive a hurricane and not making sure you can keep them when you need them?

July 1, 2006, 12:29 AM
I am far from being in either categories, however I did convince 2 ppl to have a range day with me with one statement. "Criminals are criminals because they break laws. How would gun laws be different?" This usually opened the door for discussion where I would point out that the only ppl really affected by gun laws are the law-abiding. A criminal will get a gun if they want one regardless of the law.

I have also made several others sit and think about their position with the same discussion, including my mother who's first gun was a .380 auto with an unrestricted CCW in NYS. Go mom!

July 1, 2006, 02:33 AM
maybe this should be another thread,or it may have been covered,but Have you ever heard of a "pro-gun" defecting? i have not myself.

July 1, 2006, 03:32 AM
My journey into becoming a 2A advocate and in general an advocate for the right to self-defense began with being a big anti. I got it from a couple of sources. One was my dad. He was a Vietnam vet who after the war decided he never wanted to see another gun again. He liked the mechanics of guns until he saw their effects on the Vietcong in what he still believes to be the worst foreign policy mistake of the 20th century the U.S. ever made.

The second was t.v. and major media. I came to the opinion that guns were bad because alot of people were killed with them. Seemed logical enough.

But, it was history, and a knowledge of what governments do to those that they don't like that caused my conversion to pro-rkba.

I began with the studying of slavery, slave laws, and Jim Crow. My maternal lineage is black, so I wanted to see how blacks were (and largely still are) controlled. I discovered all sorts of laws which barred blacks from owning guns. In my state of MO, we have a permit one must get to acquire a handgun. A permit that was never issued to a black person (and rarely to an Irishman) before the civil rights movement.

Then, shortly after these studies, I discovered the movie, Schindler's List, which my parents hadn't wanted me to see yet (I was 14 when they got around to showing me). It had a more profound effect on me than any other thing I've ever seen or heard in my life. I'd known about the holocaust. Studied it, and could tell you the general statistics. But the pure horror never became real to me until I saw that movie. One that still makes me shake, and cry as if I was there to this day.

Up until that point, I was anti, even with knowledge of how the government had attempted to turn my maternal ancestors into easy victims for the KKK. I thought, "Well, white people don't do that now, and this is a civilized country."

After I watched Schindler's List, I studied the holocaust in depth. I discovered how the gun controls throughout Europe allowed Hitler's armies to rule with impunity. I discovered how easily many of my paternal ancestors were led away, to camps to die.

I was sold. At that point, I still didn't like guns, but I knew that I had to have them, and had to pass them on to my children (when I had them) along with how important owning them was if the expression, "Remember, never again," meant anything to me.

So, I talked to my uncle (maternal), the only gun owner around me I knew that lived locally. He took me shooting. I remember shooting a .22 revolver, a .45 1911 Gov't Model, and a Ruger .357 the first time. Once I did it, I was hooked.

Since then, I've accumulated a sizable collection of personal arms, and obtained skill in their use. It's so that Never again will mean something.

It's so that I'll never have to stand idly by the blood of my brother.

It's so that we can all be free.

July 1, 2006, 08:14 AM
I suppose I would fall into the "fence sitter" camp since I did intermittently shoot guns as a youngster, but was never all that enamoured with them. As far as RKBA, I don't think I really cared or knew enough about the issues to come to any conclusion.

What ultimately changed my attitude was truly seeing guns as an untapped source of something to learn about at the age of 52, more or less a new hobby that would keep my interest and challenge me intellectually and physically (hand-eye control, competitions).

To me I see it no different from any other sport or type of interest..bowling, golf, stamp collecting. The chances of me needing it to defend myself is admitedly pretty remote. But what enticed me to be more of a 2A activist is simply the fact that I can't see why anyone should be able to dictate any interest or hobby I decide to pursue that doesn't harm anyone else and brings me personal enjoyment.

That is what the anti's don't understand about the gun world. It's not just about hunting, or sport shooting. It's about reloading, technical gun design and gunsmithing, challenging yourself to improve your shooting skills, understanding self-defense laws, understanding ammo and ballistics, learning about gun history, shooting technique....the list of things that bring you into the world of guns is almost limitless. I believe it's very much the same thing that brings people into the world of hot rodding or other such interests.

How would they feel if people tried to place limits on their hobby of choice, not because of THEIR actions, but because of the actions of other irresponsible people they had no control over?

July 1, 2006, 08:33 AM
I might have been described as a fence sitter I suppose. I felt that there was no point banning specific types of gun or treating different types differently (like banning machineguns for instance) because all guns can kill large number of people. I felt that sports, recreational shooting, hunting and collecting were all fine reasons for owning guns and that what was needed was a strict lisencing system to ensure that only trustworthy people, with good reason, got hold of guns. I thought that guns for self-defence was a noble idea, but unfortunately an unworkable one. I felt this because I looked at America and saw massive gun crime, far, far greatern than my own country. I wasn't scared of guns, I wasn't against their ownership, I owned many and more myself, I just felt that too many people could not be trusted with them.

Then I just realised one day that 'gun crime' is a meaningless statistic. Although the US does have a higher rate of guncrime, it has, on the whole, less violent crime and less homicide. I thought 'it dosn't matter how people get hurt, what matters is that they don't'. I realised that guns for self-defence, far from increasing crime, would decrease it.

Working Man
July 4, 2006, 07:45 AM
It seems that those who posted had a certain sense of sensibility in their
thinking as an Anti/Fence-sitter/Ostrich. I do not see any reference to a
mind frame that an inanimate object (firearm) is dangerous all by itself.

I see references to firearms being objects that can cause injury or used for
crimes, references to the media having a large affect on the way one perceives
a firearm, and references to a lack of knowledge of firearms, their history and
importance, and the true statistics surrounding their controversy.

What I don't see in reading these posts are illogical statements of they're evil
and cause people to kill each other. They increase the crime rates in areas
that they exist in. That we would all be safer if they were banned. Finally
only law enforcement should have a gun and only bad people out side of that
would want one.

It seems everyone who posted had a firm grasp on reality and a willingness
to question what they saw or were told.... a desire to think for themselves
and the ability of rational thought. So I am now forced to wonder if those
that are of the mind that firearms are evil and cause evil things to happen,
can be turned to see the truth, can learn rational thought, or will forever
blame the spoon for their troubles?

July 4, 2006, 08:59 AM
I've never been anti-gun.

However, when I was a little kid, I was totally indifferent to guns.

Then one evening, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was on. My mother pointed out one of the "U.N.C.L.E. specials" saying, "Look at that weird gun!" After that, I got my grandmother to buy me "Guns & Ammo" magazine, then got her to get me a subscription to "Guns" magazine.

Did I mention that my mother was a rabid anti? She created a monster and has been rueing the day, ever since! :D

If you enjoyed reading about "Antis & Fence Sitters" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!